2012 Mazda CX-7 Review

While it has less cargo space than some rivals, test drivers liked the 2012 Mazda CX-7's stylish interior, comfortable seats and available turbocharged engine.

Pros & Cons

  • Stylish interior
  • Comfortable seats
  • Strong turbocharged engine
  • Less cargo space than the competition
  • Complicated audio controls




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mazda CX-7 Overview

The base 2012 Mazda CX-7 is powered by a four-cylinder engine, while a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. Reviewers said the base engine puts out competent power for daily driving, but noted that the turbocharged engine’s extra power makes the CX-7 particularly fun to drive. An automatic transmission is standard on all models. The base model gets an estimated 20/27 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. When equipped with the turbocharged engine, the CX-7 gets up to 18/24 mpg city/highway. Some reviewers noted that the CX-7's ride is a bit too firm, but others wrote that the CX-7 offers fairly agile handling, as well as precise steering and a small turning circle.

Test drivers reported that the 2012 CX-7's interior design is attractive. There's seating for five, and most reviewers liked its seats, calling them comfortable and supportive. The 2012 CX-7 has 58.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded. The CX-7 comes standard with air conditioning, power windows and door locks and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Available features when it was new include a sunroof, navigation, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and heated front seats. While reviewers said the CX-7 has straightforward climate controls, some said that its radio and navigation controls may take some time to learn.

Other SUVs to Consider

If you need extra seats, the Toyota RAV4 can accommodate up to seven with its available third row, and it has one of the highest cargo capacities in the class. When it was new, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 was also our Best Three-row Compact SUV for the Money.

The 2012 GMC Terrain comes equipped with high-tech standard features, including a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio and a USB port. The base Terrain also gets better fuel economy estimates than the CX-7, and reviewers said the GMC Terrain has a spacious, high-quality interior.

Compare the CX-7, RAV4 and Terrain »

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